Welcome to Boombox Blitz, an artist spotlight series showcasing overlooked singers, songwriters and musicians who are quietly taking over the world.
Ask anyone who suffers from ongoing anxiety or mental illness, and they’ll tell you the same. You feel as if you could come undone any second ⎯⎯ crushed by “guilt and anguish,” as pop singer RIVVRS (real name Brandon Zahursky) confides about his own episodic darkness. “I’m slowly fading, chasing a ghost / Drifting away from the weight of my soul,” he sings, baring the agonizing shift from discernible human being to ghoulish remnant. “Don’t Give Up on Me” displaces hackneyed fist-pumping for a vulnerable, intimate and earnest vocal performance.
Zahursky takes it one leap further in the erratic but cinematic visual, directed by Noah Applebaum. As he basks in the sheer warmth of the sun and the expansive landscape sweeping around him, the viewer is held tightly and witnesses the singer’s renewal of mind, body and spirit. “I really wanted to portray the feeling of isolation, which is why we chose Joshua Tree to shoot. Having my hands tied together is meant to show the feeling of helplessness,” he described. “Because the song is meant to be more hopeful, by the end of the video, the ropes have been turned into lights. It represents the change I felt as I started to get out of that depression; and the realization that even in the darkest moments, you can find some light.”
“Don’t Give Up on Me” is a tantalizing sliver of Zahursky’s forthcoming new album, Cosmic Dream, expected in early 2018.